The Wildlife of IIT Bombay

I live inside the IIT Bombay campus. And, consider myself privileged to stay there - a little haven within the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, a tiny island (metaphorically speaking) that is cut off from the city's concrete jungle, fumes, pollution, famed commutes, and crowds. It is nicely ensconced between the breathtaking (and crocodile infested) Powai lake on one side and a hillock worthy of picnics on the other. What's more, it shares borders with the Sanjay Gandhi National Park - one that the numerous residents of the park frequently disregard! There are even notices warning folks to not venture into certain areas that are prone to, say, a stray leopard that wandered in from its home adjoining the campus :) During the rains, tracts transform into mini rainforests - replete with Rhesus Macaques and Grey Hornbills.

/photos/iitb/OspreyFish.png

An osprey (Pandion haliaetus) with fish in its talons, breakfast at the Powai Lake ...

Mumbai itself is a rather interesting city. It sits jutting into the Arabian Sea, which will explain the high humidity of the region, and thanks to the undulating terrain and heavy monsoons plays host to a good variety of fauna. One can find many hills worthy of treks, ranging from the easy to those that are considered precursors to Himalayan expeditions, many within an hour's drive from the city. During the monsoon, the suburbs don a green blanket, and waterfalls erupt out of any rock possible. The 400 or so forts in the vicinity (right upto the Konkan coast in Goa), many built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, are good places to go on treks (and get a taste of history and folklore). The monsoon is considered a good time of the year to go trekking, especially since the rain is a refreshing drizzle when compared to the sultry humidity of the other significant portion of the year - summer. Adventure sports have also been gaining momentum in the area - and for the adventurous, waterfall rappelling during the monsoon should be a definite try. One does everything one does in the 'usual' rappelling, with the addition of going down a waterfall, frequently WHILE it is raining! The adrenaline rush of going down a 150 ft waterfall while it's pouring cats and dogs, and savoring the view from the middle, is heady! The combination of the sea coast with hills and forests ensures good resident and migrant populations of avifauna. Water birds, waders, forest dwellers, etc., can all be found in or near the city.

/photos/iitb/BarnOwl_sc.JPG

A Barn Owl (Tyto alba) on the hillside area

Mammals that I have seen in the campus include:

/photos/iitb/Mongoose.png
  • Mongoose, Indian Grey (Herpestes edwardsii)
  • Flying Fox, Indian (Pteropus giganteus)
  • Langur, Gray (Semnopithecus entellus)
  • Macaque, Rhesus (Macaca mulatta)
  • Mongoose, Ruddy (Herpestes smithii)
  • Pangolin, Indian (Manis crassicaudata)
  • Rat, Brown (Rattus norvegicus)
  • Rat, Lesser Bandicoot (Bandicota bengalensis)
  • Squirrel, Three-striped Palm (Funambulus palmaram)

Reptiles seen include:

  • Bengal Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis)
  • Garden Calotes (Calotes versicolor)
  • Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
  • Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)
  • Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosus)

The following is a list of the birds I have seen inside the IIT Bombay campus.

  • Babbler, Yellow-eyed
  • Babbler, Jungle
  • Babbler, Tawny-bellied
  • Barbet, Coppersmith
  • Bee-eater, Blue-tailed
  • Bee-eater, Small Green
  • Bulbul, White-cheeked
  • Bulbul, Red-vented
  • Bulbul, Red-whiskered
  • Bulbul, White-browed
  • Cisticola, Zitting
  • Coot, Common
  • Cormorant, Little
  • Coucal, Greater
  • Crow, House
  • Crow, Large-billed
  • Cuckoo, Common Hawk
  • Cuckooshrike, Black-headed
  • Dove, Eurasian Collared
  • Dove, Spotted
  • Drongo, Black
  • Duck, Lesser Whistling
  • Duck, Spot-billed
  • Egret, Cattle
  • Egret, Intermediate
  • Egret, Little
  • Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
  • Godwit, Black-tailed
  • Grebe, Little
  • Harrier, Western Marsh
  • Heron, Black-crowned Night
  • Heron, Grey
  • Heron, Indian Pond
  • Heron, Purple
  • Hornbill, Indian Grey
  • Ibis, Black-headed
  • Ibis, Glossy
  • Iora, Common
  • Jacana, Bronze-winged
  • Jacana, Pheasant-tailed
  • Kingfisher, Common
  • Kingfisher, White-breasted
  • Kite, Black
  • Koel, Asian
  • Lapwing, Red-wattled
  • Munia, Scaly-breasted
  • Myna, Common
  • Oriole, Golden
  • Osprey
  • Owl, Barn
  • Owlet, Spotted
  • Parakeet, Rose-ringed
  • Pigeon, Rock
  • Prinia, Ashy
  • Prinia, Plain
  • Robin, Indian
  • Robin, Oriental Magpie
  • Sandpiper, Wood
  • Shelduck, Ruddy
  • Shikra
  • Shrike, Long-tailed
  • Snipe, Greater Painted
  • Sparrow, House
  • Starling, Asian Pied
  • Starling, Brahminy
  • Starling, Chestnut-tailed
  • Stilt, Black-winged
  • Sunbird, Purple
  • Sunbird, Purple-rumped
  • Swallow, Barn
  • Swamphen, Purple
  • Swift, Asian Palm
  • Swift, House
  • Tailorbird, Common
  • Tern, Black-bellied
  • Tern, Whiskered
  • Thrush, Orange-headed
  • Wagtail, White-browed
  • Warbler, Booted
  • Warbler, Greenish Leaf
  • Warbler, Syke's
  • Waterhen, White-breasted
/photos/iitb/spottedowlet.png

Spotted Owlet

/photos/iitb/IntEgret.png

Intermediate Egret

Total - ~85

Checklists

Reptiles of IIT Bombay

  • Calotes, Garden (Calotes versicolor)
  • Calotes, Forest (Calotes rouxii)
  • Cobra, Spectacled (Naja naja)
  • Crocodile, Marsh (Crocodylus palustris)
  • Gecko, Brook's (Hemidactylus brookii)
  • Keelback, Checkered (Xenochrophis piscator)
  • Monitor, Bengal (Varanus bengalensis)
  • Snake, Rat (Ptyas mucosus)
  • Snake, Green Vine (Ahaetulla nasuta)
  • Skink, Brahminy (Mabuya carinata)
  • Viper, Russell's (Daboia russelii)

Total - 11

Mammals of IIT Bombay

  • Flying Fox, Indian (Pteropus giganteus)
  • Hare, Black-naped (Lepus nigricollis)
  • Langur, Gray (Semnopithecus entellus)
  • Macaque, Rhesus (Macaca mulatta)
  • Mongoose, Indian Grey (Herpestes edwardsii)
  • Mongoose, Ruddy (Herpestes smithii)
  • Pangolin, Indian (Manis crassicaudata)
  • Rat, Brown (Rattus norvegicus)
  • Rat, Lesser Bandicoot (Bandicota bengalensis)
  • Squirrel, Three-striped Palm (Funambulus palmaram)

Total - 10

The Birds of IIT Bombay

  • Avadavat, Red
  • Babbler, Yellow-eyed
  • Babbler, Jungle
  • Babbler, Tawny-bellied
  • Barbet, Brown-headed
  • Barbet, Coppersmith
  • Bee-eater, Blue-tailed
  • Bee-eater, Small Green
  • Bulbul, White-cheeked
  • Bulbul, Red-vented
  • Bulbul, Red-whiskered
  • Bulbul, White-browed
  • Cisticola, Zitting
  • Coot, Common
  • Cormorant, Little
  • Coucal, Greater
  • Cragmartin, Dusky
  • Crow, House
  • Crow, Large-billed
  • Cuckoo, Common Hawk
  • Cuckoo, Pied Crested
  • Cuckooshrike, Black-headed
  • Darter, Oriental
  • Dove, Emerald
  • Dove, Spotted
  • Dove, Eurasian Collared
  • Drongo, Ashy
  • Drongo, Black
  • Duck, Comb
  • Duck, Lesser Whistling
  • Duck, Spot-billed
  • Egret, Cattle
  • Egret, Intermediate
  • Egret, Little
  • Flowerpecker, Thick-billed
  • Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
  • Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch
  • Flycatcher, Brown
  • Flycatcher, Red-throated
  • Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue
  • Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
  • Godwit, Black-tailed
  • Grebe, Little
  • Harrier, Western Marsh
  • Heron, Black-crowned Night
  • Heron, Grey
  • Heron, Indian Pond
  • Heron, Purple
  • Hoopoe, Common
  • Hornbill, Indian Grey
  • Ibis, Black-headed
  • Ibis, Glossy
  • Iora, Common
  • Jacana, Bronze-winged
  • Jacana, Pheasant-tailed
  • Kestrel, Common
  • Kingfisher, Common
  • Kingfisher, Pied
  • Kingfisher, White-breasted
  • Kite, Black
  • Kite, Brahminy
  • Koel, Asian
  • Lapwing, Red-wattled
  • Moorhen, Common
  • Munia, Scaly-breasted
  • Myna, Common
  • Nightjar, Indian
  • Oriole, Golden
  • Osprey
  • Owl, Barn
  • Owl, Collared Scops
  • Owlet, Jungle
  • Owlet, Spotted
  • Parakeet, Alexandrine
  • Parakeet, Plum-headed
  • Parakeet, Rose-ringed
  • Peafowl, Indian
  • Pigeon, Rock
  • Pipit, Paddyfield
  • Pitta, Indian
  • Prinia, Ashy
  • Prinia, Plain
  • Robin, Indian
  • Robin, Oriental Magpie
  • Roller, Indian
  • Sandpiper, Common
  • Sandpiper, Wood
  • Shelduck, Ruddy
  • Shikra
  • Shrike, Grey
  • Shrike, Long-tailed
  • Snipe, Common
  • Snipe, Greater Painted
  • Sparrow, House
  • Starling, Asian Pied
  • Starling, Brahminy
  • Starling, Chestnut-tailed
  • Stilt, Black-winged
  • Stonechat, Common
  • Stork, Asian Open-billed
  • Sunbird, Purple-rumped
  • Sunbird, Purple
  • Swallow, Barn
  • Swallow, Wire-tailed
  • Swallow, Red-rumped
  • Swamphen, Purple
  • Swift, Asian Palm
  • Swift, House
  • Tailorbird, Common
  • Tern, Black-bellied
  • Tern, Little
  • Tern, Whiskered
  • Thrush, Orange-headed
  • Wagtail, Grey
  • Wagtail, White
  • Wagtail, White-browed
  • Wagtail, Citrine
  • Warbler, Ashy Wren
  • Warbler, Booted
  • Warbler, Syke's
  • Warbler, Greenish
  • Warbler, Blyth's Reed
  • Waterhen, White-breasted
  • Weaver, Baya
  • Woodpecker, Rufous
  • Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback

Total - ~130

Comments

Comments powered by Disqus
Contents © 2017 Kadambari Devarajan - Powered by Nikola.
All photographs by Kadambari Devarajan are licensed under Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA.